TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Staffing became a major issues across the U.S. due to the pandemic and the effects are still being felt today.
Now, teaching shortages have districts hiring educators without certification by using alternative authorization. This allows teachers to be hired with a bachelors degree and not teaching certificate.
Through this route, educators pursue their certificate through less traditional ways while teaching. This can be accomplished through programs and courses offered at colleges. One such program is the Nontraditional Educator Preparation Program at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI) which has gained traction since it's inaugural semester.
“We started with 19 students, we now have almost 200 in this program,” said Tracey Meyerhoeffer, department chair of the education department at CSI.
Though there may be concern over teachers with a lack of certification, the Twin Falls School District (TFSD) still sets a high precedent when it comes to who they allow in their classrooms.
“We hold ourselves to a high standard. We want to see our students perform. We’ve got those academic measures that we're watching and in order to see that happen we really need to have highly qualified, dedicated educators in the classroom,” said Eva Craner, director of public relations for TFSD.
Challenges like staffing shortages have been faced in the past but Craner says the previous hiring period was one of the toughest TFSD has faced.
"You have to get creative and find other ways to get good people who are interested in teaching into the classroom.” She said. This year saw higher numbers than usual. "We’ve hit 80 before in the past but that would have been considered a big year. This year we filled 113 teaching positions.”
For more information on the TFSD and their hiring, click here.